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Senate charts course to soothe ‘struggling’ health sector
07-16-2024 12:20 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

Senate Democrats will vote Thursday on a voluminous health care oversight reform bill inspired by the crisis at Steward Health Care as well as broader industry trends inflicting pressure on hospitals, providers and patients.Nearly two months after the...

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Senate chair optimistic about long-term care bill
07-08-2024 3:19 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

The House chair of the Elder Affairs Committee has lambasted the Senate’s months-long delay in taking up a long-term care reform bill, but his Senate co-chair expressed optimism about the legislation reaching Gov. Maura Healey’s desk this session.“We...


Sabadosa bills bring pregnancy loss out of shadows
07-02-2024 2:31 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

Two bills presented by Rep. Lindsay Sabadosa that passed last week will support families who have experienced pregnancy loss by adding paid pregnancy loss leave to the Massachusetts Earned Sick Time Law and establishing a public information campaign...


Down on the farm: With outsize stresses for farmers fueling a mental health crisis, program seeks to lend a helping hand
07-01-2024 4:25 PM

By LEAH VERESS

Alice Colman recalls the day a routine fennel harvest turned into a wake-up call. As she stood in her field, carefully examining a plant’s feathery leaves, she felt herself growing increasingly frustrated with the crop’s appearance. When she kneeled...


Shawn Hayden named new president and CEO of Gardner-based GAAMHA
06-14-2024 1:06 PM

GARDNER – The GAAMHA Board of Directors has named Shawn Hayden as the new president and CEO, following the resignation of longtime CEO Tracy Hutchinson.Hayden has been with GAAMHA for 13 years, most recently as the organization’s vice president, and...


Heywood Healthcare files Chapter 11 exit plan
05-29-2024 2:21 PM

By MAX BOWEN

GARDNER – Heywood Healthcare, which operates hospitals in Gardner and Athol, has filed papers to exit Chapter 11 after entering it last October.In a statement issued on May 29, the healthcare company said the filing allowed it to “address numerous...


Following risk screening, Erving Elementary School implementing student mental health program
05-28-2024 2:39 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

ERVING — After results from a recent survey showed that 7% of Erving students were in the “high risk” emotional category and another 32% were at “some risk” emotionally, Erving Elementary School is moving forward with a new student mental health...


Health care gaps create reentry hurdle for incarcerated individuals
05-19-2024 5:00 PM

By JIASHAN ZHENG

Despite ongoing reform efforts, the Massachusetts prison health care system continues to be confronted with significant challenges, deeply affecting the well-being of incarcerated individuals and complicating their reentry into society...


Committee forms to oppose psychedelics push in Mass
05-05-2024 5:00 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

A new campaign chaired by a Massachusetts General Hospital surgeon will oppose a potential ballot question seeking to decriminalize some psychedelic substances.After coming together “reasonably quickly” in the past week, as spokesperson Chris Keohan...


Providers, families seek legislative urgency to support ALS treatment
05-03-2024 1:58 PM

By ALISON KUZNITZ

Nearly 10 years after the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge spurred global awareness about the neurodegenerative disease, patients and doctors on Thursday stressed the need for additional funding from Beacon Hill as they touted promising treatments under...


Heywood Healthcare cites progress made since bankruptcy filing
04-08-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last October, Heywood Healthcare has announced it has made progress in restoring and improving services.The health care company has pointed to a costly electronic medical record transition,...


Local success informs federal guidelines on addiction treatment
04-03-2024 5:00 PM

By ANTHONY CAMMALLERI

The federal government is marching to the beat of Behavioral Health Network’s drum in its new methadone treatment regulations, effective Tuesday, April 2.BHN, a mental health service provider in western Massachusetts with methadone clinics in...


GAAMHA opens new Athol facility for women with substance use, mental health disorders
03-29-2024 5:00 PM

By MAX BOWEN

ATHOL — Seeking to address a lack of resources for women battling with substance abuse and mental health disorders, Gardner-based GAAMHA has opened a new facility in Athol called Sunrise Ridge.The 32-bed residential treatment facility — which opened...


A Page From North Quabbin History: Doctors in the family
03-17-2024 5:01 PM

By Carla CharterThe Dufault family has had three generations of doctors, all of whom have been graduates from Tufts University. This family of doctors had their beginnings in Athol.Dr. Paul F. Dufault of Worcester, an internist, said his grandfather,...


Sen. Comerford talks health care legislation with region’s physicians
03-15-2024 3:55 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Before a room filled with local health care professionals, state Sen. Jo Comerford shared details about legislation she’s filed this session in hopes of bolstering the health care system to “do well by” those physicians and, in turn,...


Consumers, hospitals lose ground as total spending increased 5.8%
03-13-2024 3:50 PM

By COLIN A. YOUNG

As policymakers this week examine a law meant to keep health care cost growth within sustainable bounds, a new report makes clear that the health care sector has a double-sided problem – the cost of care is pushing it out of reach for many...


State suspends Northfield EMS chief’s paramedic license
03-05-2024 5:37 PM

By LIESEL NYGARD

The state Office of Emergency Medical Services has suspended the paramedic license held by Northfield EMS Chief and Orange EMS Capt. Mark Fortier, but town officials say paramedic staffing levels are sufficient to ensure continued ambulance...


CDC considers dropping 5-day COVID isolation rule as local hospitals bring back mask requirements
02-21-2024 5:08 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering loosening isolation requirements for people who test positive for COVID-19, meaning they would no longer have to stay at home for at least five days when infected with the virus.Under the...


GCC nursing students talk single-payer health care, workplace safety concerns with legislators
02-13-2024 5:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Four women representing western Massachusetts in the state Legislature visited Greenfield Community College on Monday for a panel discussion about health care with second-year nursing students.State Sen. Jo Comerford was joined by state...


McGovern legislation would ease access to medically necessary foods
01-29-2024 5:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

The Democrat representing the 2nd Congressional District of Massachusetts has teamed up with a Republican colleague from Florida to sponsor a bill aimed at making it easier for Americans to get medically necessary foods.Jim McGovern and John...


‘A huge relief’: Swift River School reports filters, bottled water no longer needed
01-29-2024 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

NEW SALEM — Swift River School’s new PFAS6 filtration system seems to be working perfectly, and 190 students and staff members will drink to that.A little more than three years after tests of the school’s tap water revealed elevated levels of the...

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